Thursday, February 22, 2007


Raven by David R. Darrow 8" x 10" (20.3cm x 25.4cm)
Oil on Stretched Canvas SOLD Collection of Harold Roe
Brentwood, TN – USA

About This Painting

Okay, so I have been "gone" for a while from my Everyday Paintings. Don't everybody write at once.

Just kidding.

Oh, man, what a month it has been. So many irons in the fire, so many projects going on, enhanced only by occasional early morning insomnia — which is where this painting began.

I didn't actually mean to do this painting. I just couldn't get back to sleep one morning at about 4am, so I looked around for something to do. TV is really boring at 4am, unless you want to see the next-generation-floor-sweeper for only wait!don'tansweryet! ... $19.95.

So, there was this scrap of canvas sitting around the studio, a year old photo of my middle daughter in a leotard in perfect chiaroscuro lighting, and some charcoal.

I felt like drawing, really... not painting. It's fun sometimes to just grab a little vine charcoal and start swinging it around like in a workshop to see what will reveal itself.

And the next thing I know, I'm doing a charcoal portrait on canvas, and it started to feel like I was teaching again, and I started pretending that — aside from my jammies — I was in front of a room full of students giving a demo, like I'll do in my upcoming Figure and Portrait Painting workshop later this year (search the Internet for more details), and this portrait just happened.

Now, I drew with the intention of painting over it — a good, solid under-drawing always helps a painting — but I did put a little more detail in the drawing than necessary.

Then I decided to set up a video camera and tape the whole painting process, start to finish, minus the charcoal drawing. I'll be able to use that as a teaching tool later.

So, this is the painting that emerged from about 90 minutes of furious mixing, scooping and dabbing. It's fairly thick paint, very painterly and 100% freehand.

Oh, and the title: Emily used to dye her hair raven black.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Art of the Kiss

Art of the Kiss by David R. Darrow 8" x 8" (20.3cm x 20.3cm)
Oil on Belgian Linen Panel SOLD Collection of Bruce and Karen May
Vista, CA – USA

About This Painting

These little gems are an American icon. They are as ubiquitous in February as naked baby archer-angels.

As I set this up to paint, I really just got lost in any setting. It would have been even harder with an all silver-wrapped Kiss. They have only recently started showing up dressed in red.

So I just decided to pose it for a simple Vanity Portrait.

A good Kiss is art!

Don't you love the mystery on its tag? A "Kiss For..." ...whom?

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1 Year Paintiversary

Wow. That went quickly. It was one year ago today I posted my first Everyday Paintings post. I did it with the purpose of "hanging myself out there" before my friends and enemies as a way of intimidating myself into painting every day. From the outset, I thought I might just paint 5 days a week. I like to leave weekends flexible, and Sundays a traditional day of rest. That's not a religious decision, but I figure if God takes a day off once a week, I should, too. In the end — which, technically, was yesterday — I did 70 new paintings and sold 68 of them, plus several others... older paintings from my inventory. I do not know what this year holds. There is as much of real life to mix in with my goals as there ever has been, and frankly that stuff really gets in the way. Thanks for the growing readership. When I started, I think it was only my mom reading — and now it's doubled. Yes, I have two moms. Seriously, I have made quite a few new artist friends and collector friends, and the experience has been extremely helpful in my further understanding of brushes, and paint and how to push it into the right places on a canvas so that it looks kinda cool. I gotta tip my hat once more to the only person I knew of in the world, one year ago, who was doing a painting every day. Thanks, to Mr. Duane Keiser. Update Apparently something in the above suggests I will not be painting anymore. To that, I say "Rumors of the demise of Everyday Paintings are greatly exaggerated."

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sweet Heart

Sweet Heart by David R. Darrow 8" x 8" (20.3cm x 20.3cm)
Oil on Belgian Linen Panel SOLD Collection of Patricia Harris
Ragley, LA – USA

About This Painting

If ever there was a time that a painting took discipline to complete...

As I finished each piece of chocolate in my painting, I had to resist finishing it in real life. With some degree of pride I can tell you that all the chocolates are still in the box. They all survived the tempting ordeal.

What is it with gals and chocolate? A box of chocolates as a gift can really go south on a guy. It's a risky one. You're basically giving her a gift that she can enjoy in secret and feel very guilty about the more she enjoys it.

Well, here's an alternative... an original oil painting of chocolates!

It has distinct advantages:

  • It will last longer... likely for generations.
  • It's not fattening (in fact, it's not edible).
  • It will not melt, even over the fireplace.
  • You can enjoy it with all your friends, openly.
  • You can have it well in advance of Valentine's Day.
    Nothing last minute about it
The perfect heartful of chocolates!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Luthier

The Luthier by David R. Darrow 7" x 5" (17.8cm x 12.7cm)
Oil on Linen Panel In A Private Collection
El Cajon, CA – USA

About This Painting

This is a quick portrait of a luthier I admire. One of the most innovative, finest luthiers in the world.

Back in the 70s and 80s, word among acoustic guitar players was that the guitar to have was a C.F. Martin & Company D35, which, as they aged, reportedly just got better — and more expensive.

I believed that wholeheartedly until the evening a friend let me play one of this man's guitars. That night I dreamed I would one day own a Taylor Guitar.

Bob Taylor was apprehensive going into manufacturing, for what he had learned to do by hand, he wasn't convinced could be coded in to machines... his reluctance to approach mass production on guitars led to innovations in the guitar industry, development of high-precision machines and fundamental changes in guitar design — the first of their kind in over 100 years. His revolutionary neck-design is patented.

In 1974 Bob and two friends bought the company they worked for, a guitar company in Lemon Grove, CA. The following year, they had to let most of the remaining employees go, since they were out of capital. The company, renamed Taylor Guitars, made 37 guitars that year.

Needless to say, they made it through, and now turn out over 40,000 exceptional quality guitars a year, with their 350+ employees.

All of this came out of a love for quality guitars and the music they make.

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